The Light is Changing

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Ohhhhhh, dear. It's getting dark so early now. The light is changing. In the afternoons, the light in the kitchen is just gorgeous, all rosy and glowing and warm. But by six p.m. it's dark. And at six a.m. it's dark. And those dark hours always seem to sneak up on me somehow. Every single lamp in this house, either table lamp or overhead, is on a dimmer switch. I tweak them throughout the day, if necessary, and sometimes don't turn them off until afternoon. I'm remembering our winter routines: oatmeal in the morning (which Amelia and I both love), soups in the evening, and pick out all of your colors for anything you're making at midday. Never pick them out by lamplight. Unless you like to live on the edge.

Knitting and sewing, knitting and sewing. My sister Susie and her fluffy cat Ellie, recently relocated from Charleston, South Carolina, have moved in with us. Aunt Susie babysits for an hour or two every morning and Amelia is beside herself with joy over her new playmate. I go back to the studio and sew. I have so many ideas. It feels so good to have time to work on them. Getting time to work on them a bit gives me energy and also sort of calms me for the rest of the day. During nap time I stitch hems by hand or tack down linings while she sleeps beside me under the big quilt. (I have to remember to bring eeeeeverything out there with me before she falls asleep; woe to the hand-stitcher who forgets the spool of thread when she still has three-quarters of a hem to stitch, and a sleeping baby's head on her lap.) When she wakes, we go into the kitchen and cook for dinner. She sits in her high chair eating diced apple and watching me. We talk. She doesn't have any actual words yet but she never stops talking in her own Amelia language, which includes lots of pointing and lots of saying "Uh oh!!!" Adorable. Little lovey. I like cold weather because she's snuggly and warm.

It feels good to slow down. It's been, really, a pretty intense year, and I think I'm just realizing how intense it actually was. In my mind, I'm formulating my plan for this next year and already it feels so good. It's slower, quieter, more deliberate. It's like a stash-busting plan: Dig into what you already have and do more with it: fabric, yarn, dry goods in the new pantry, recipes, time, these spaces, quilts, my people. But without rushing. Afternoons. Make tea and chill out. It's okay to do that. I have to keep reminding myself. Slow and steady is what I like. Let this baby girl grow and change and whirl through the woods and the rooms with what seems like lightning speed, and give her big soft arms and a pile of quilts to nest in when she gets tired. The fake fireplace is glowing and fake crackling. I have plans for an Earl Grey latte. Greta cleaned the office yesterday and it is bright and shiny. There's more wool than I know what to do with. And my sister is home. Happy.


Amelia is so very adorable!!

I love it when it gets dark early. Our clocks went back on Sunday, and I love it. It's 4.24 as I type this, and I can already see it's getting dark. Time to go and switch on some lamps!

You have so beautifully expressed a sentiment I hold close to my heart: sewing, embroidering, and knitting calm me down and renew my desire to be a better mother still!

Thank you for this continuous inspiration and,oh, I am left wondering what you will be making with the Mad Tosh yarn?

It does feel good to slow down...I think that is why I have always appreciated living in the Northwest. When the days darken and the rain sets in, it's time to go inside to have tea, make soup & bread, and tackle the pile of handwork. It all feels like a natural part of the progression of seasons.

patti RN in MIi says: October 29, 2013 at 09:27 AM

How sweet to have your sister with you! I do wonder about your sis with the vegan blog. She was just getting it going then she dropped out of sight ...i miss her!!

glenda penner says: October 29, 2013 at 09:29 AM

My tiny granddaughter is two days older than Amelia and she has plenty to say too. "Oh oh," is usually spoken with a heaping helping of drama. Babies remind us that happiness is found in knowing and being known, in learning and especially in change. Thanks for the pictures.

I love listening to tiny children talk, it's their own special little language, and yes, full of Ohhhs and uhhs. Although I don't have any children myself, I know that it's getting colder as our cat becomes incredibly sociable and wants to cuddle with us in the evening...even more so when we have a blanket on the sofa.
I loved the picture of that beautiful girl standing up , is she opening a drawer to have a little looksie inside? It's all the things on the floor behind her that made me laugh....
And yes, I am one of those "live on the edge" people who never seem to learn that colours in the evening are not want you will see in the daylight.

Your sister is lucky to have you and you're lucky to have her. There is nothing better for Amelia than to have that closeness with family.

The sun is slanting across our dining room right now and it's all glowing orange.. so fun to notice the changing light. We just got back from a week in our trailer right on the beach.. got some neat shots.. hope you have a moment to pop over. I totally enjoyed your post today.. and was SO happy to hear that your sister is moving here too! Now your family is all together. Enjoy this gorgeous day! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Yes, I'm snuggling in for the winter too. Beautiful, bright, morning sunshine all over the floor which the dogs and cat are so attracted to but I miss unless I'm working from home.

The evenings are so cozy by lamp light. I always feel like I need more in every corner. My strongest urge is to get all my knitting in order so I don't have to look for it every evening. It's like I'm planning on lining my cave for hibernation.

How lovely for your sister to have those hours with Mimi. Darling little girl. That top picture of her reminded me of Edie Beale and Gray Gardens.

Slow is good, especially while Miss Amelia is young. thank you for your choosing colours advice. I never realised that the best time to make colour decisions is at midday. doh! Of course it makes absolute sense.

Oh you so captured exactly what I want for myself for the next year: slower, quieter, more deliberate. Uncovering the resources in this house and in this soul. Thank you for your beautiful eloquent post. So happy for you to have your sissie with you too, glorious days.

Those little floral felt barrettes will always be Amelia to me:-)
Gosh she's cute..sewing Mr.Mouse..Novatena is he..I don't have his name in front of me:-)
Lucky you and have your sister with you..Good for everyone..
Darker earlier here..

karen on bainbridge island says: October 29, 2013 at 10:25 AM

The autumn light tells us that winter is coming sooner than we like...but the amber tones set the mood for nesting. Resistance is futile... clocks must be moved back and soup is on the stove. I love this time of the year.

Those red leaves on the steps are just magical.

Welcome home, Susie! I am so happy for you and yours, Alicia. We welcomed my newest Grand home Sunday night, and we took a ton of pictures. We kept the lights low for the event. A candle lit in a cupcake glowed. The pictures I posted did not show quite the light I wanted mechanically, but the light that did come through was lovely. Thats what I like best about your photos and narrative...they glow with Love. Thanks for posting :)
Gracie xx

Oh, how beautiful! I, too, love to putter about, slow and steady. Enjoy this time. It is both harder and easier when they are older. No more nap times to create while they sleep. All my creating (I'm a metalsmith) has to happen at night when they are in bed.
And yet, they talk and dress themselves, and I've taught them to make PB&J sandwiches! So in a way, it is easier...
:) I love your blog so very much. The peace, the joy, an older mama like me. Your little A so sweet and wonderful.
Enjoy your day!

Lamplight decisions=Living on the EDGE! Amazing. And true in many situations, no?

Thinking about you as it gets crunchy and fallish in LA. It's more subtle but I'll take what I can get. Yesterday it *rained* (sprinkled) all afternoon (10 minutes)!!!

Yay for your sister!

I love this. I feel like the fading light sneaks up on me every year. Part sad and part wonderful. Your Amelia is so darling.

Warm and lovely photos...thanks

Babies certainly change the way you look at projects! From someone who could start 15 things for every one I finished all of a sudden I want to finish every scrap.. Now!

Thank you SO much for your posts! I've been following for years and adore your sweet family. I grew up just south of Portland but have lived in Arizona for the past 10 years. Your photos highlight the best of Oregon and bring me so much joy! Thank you! God Bless your family!

How lovely to have your sister with you - all your chicks together in the nest, just in time to hunker down for the quiet season. =) Yesterday and today are sunny in Seattle, but we're promised rain by tomorrow night. I had a lovely walk this morning, bright and cold and sparkling (we had our first frost last night).

I love that picture with all the evergreens, and the light caught in their branches. There's a grove of evergreens at the back of our house and I can never quite catch that light with my camera, but you have. That's just it, just the way it is - glowing greenly back there on the sunny days, like a jewel. It makes up for the fact that we won't see the sun in our garden again until April. =)

I can't wait to see what you're sewing. I always love what you make, and am endlessly inspired by your work. I hope you have a lovely Tuesday, Alicia! I'm going to bundle up and go paint outside in that beautiful cold air. I think today it's really starting to feel like winter, isn't it?

I have to say, I like the changing light. We get very little weather to show us the seasons changing... so shorter days, cooler nights, a bit of fog... it reminds me to change, too. To slow down, to get cozy, to embrace a quieter, more reflective time of year.
I have to say it, again, your view, your focus, always leaves me breathless and breathing deeper, all at once. Thank you.

Oh i miss those days of not rushing to school and meetings,doctors and stuff
Your days sound so sweet and full of love. The details of the light and craclking make me miss fall and winter so much. It really is so cozy and each of your posts makes me slow down and remember the important things.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at